Friday, November 27, 2009
T&A Factor 2/5
An asylum doctor issues release orders for patients that he deems fit and no longer in need of care. Much to the chagrin of his staff, he's trying to reduce costs and boost the notoriety of his practice with the number of people he releases who 'appear' to no longer be a threat to society or themselves. That's all fine and dandy until his lead attending psychiatrist finds out that a computer error was made and that they released someone they shouldn't have. Whoops!
The man who's mistakenly let out promptly goes on a killing spree, using sledgehammers, knifes, axes and vice clamps to kill off young college coeds. The film was originally a 3-D production and the version I watched still had the accompanying in your face shots but without the benefits of said technology. So during some of the kills, you get cheesy cartoonish effects like this:
So the main attending psychiatrist at the institution goes undercover, posing as a cross-country traveler and asking to stay at one of the sorority houses, claiming she is a former member to gain entry. Little do the sisters know that she was involved in what took place at the house years ago. In a flashback scene, during initiation week, the girls took aspiring members into the basement of the house, bending them over and doing the prerequisite whacking of paddles. The son of the house mother was caught snooping and the sisters dragged him back upstairs, tormenting him by making him drink alcohol while they all paraded around him, stripping off articles of clothing and showing him their assets. Oh what ghastly horror!! This was apparently too much for him to handle and he went apeshit. Taking a nail gun that was randomly lying around, he began capping his tormentors with only the psychiatrist surviving.
Not so hot on the case of the recent killings, is a smart mouthed, Coors pounding cop who arrested the traumatized nail gun wielding psycho years ago. He's initially skeptical when the psychiatrist comes to the station and pleads for help. He calls the hospital only to have them hide their fuck-up. When the psychiatrist comes back to the station for a 2nd time along with a local male newspaper reporter, the cop directs his ills towards him, yelling 'Get the fuck outta here. Just because the goddamn broad is good lookin', doesn't mean we ALL have to think with our dicks.'
The insitution finally dispatches two wisecracking nurses to the sorority house, as they relent and admit to their foul-up. As the sisters continue to be stalked and killed by the psycho, a final stand off is set-up between the nurses, the psychiatrist, the reporter and an unassuming house mother....
Silent Madness has all of the quality ingredients that make for a great 80's horror film: completely random, laugh out loud, coke fueled dialogue; 'incredible' effects and a totally nonsensical plot. A couple of the kill scenes were also pretty ingenious. As one of the sisters worked out in her room, hanging upside down from a swing, the killer took a rope to a dumbbell, tied the other end to her neck and sent it sailing through the second story window (FYI--its shown in the trailer below). Also, the wisecracking sheriff has to be one of the best bit characters ever to grace a horror film. He's worth the price of admission alone.
Cortez The Killer
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
At the hillside top of a remote arctic location a researcher (startlingly played in a 'holy shit, he's still alive?' fashion by Val Kilmer) and his crew, tranquilize a polar bear in an attempt to learn more about the affects of changing global climates and animal dietary habits. After scaling down the side of an embankment towards the snoozing bear, they find he was munching on a partially frozen carcass of a woolly mammoth. Along with his team, they attempt to exhume the rest of the body and its not long before they wish they hadn't.
Back in the states, a trio of students are chosen to join the ecological researcher and his crew. Along with the researcher's estranged daughter, the small group of tree hugging kids embark on a trip out to the research station. As they are taken by helicopter, each one argues about global warming and the difficult task of changing people's habits. The daughter claims that its hard to change and that ultimately, the work that they are interested in and that with which consumes her father's life, will ultimately prove to be pointless. This sense of hopelessness is one that is pervasive throughout the film.
The kids are diverted to the home of the researcher instead of making it out to the camp and are instructed not to show up. Unbeknownst to them, the researcher is watching and taking notes at the area where the carcass has now been sectioned off. The members of his crew are succumbing to some sort of sickness and we see that something is living and making its way ouf of the partially preserved carcass.
At the house, the kids come across the polar bear which was brought back and placed in the researcher's laboratory. Upon inspection, the guide which brought the kids to the locale is bitten by something and its not long before the contents of the polar bear start to seep out. Prehistoric parasites make their way into a couple of the kids and they wake up to open sores, pissing blood, and bleeding groin areas.
As each member of the group start to fall victim to the parasites, the researcher and father makes his way back home, having fended off his affected crew and taking a gunshot by one of them in the process. After his daughter discovers one of his recorded research tapes about the excavation site, we learn that her father has something far more sinister up his sleeve. And by film's end, we are left with a feeling that man is on the precipice of extinction from something they never knew about or remotely contemplated.
In my humble opinion, The Thaw is the best arctic related horror film since Carpenter's The Thing. Along with evoking some of the same feelings of isolation, the story is wholly original and completely terrifying. The idea of succumbing to something else not related to rising global climates or the loss of resources is really unique and definitely not outside the realm of possibility (BTW, you aren't beaten down with any sort of underlying message). Not too mention the gore scenes really got to me. One sure fire way of doing so is sticking needles or tweezers into open sores and that happened a few times. But by far and away the gnarliest scene occurred when the guide instructed two of the kids to lop off his arm before the parasites could spread. As one of them held down his outstretched arm, the other took a large kitchen knife and struck down on the infected half. But when the first attempt doesn't go through all the way, the sound of taking out the knife thats lodged into bone and flesh is extremely unnerving. Ick!
Cortez The Killer
Monday, November 23, 2009
T&A Factor: 2/5
Words cannot begin to describe the sheer amazing-ness that is this film. I've watched it two times in as many days. I'll let my notes do the talking.
- Kid into heavy metal summons demon girl from book; haunted by her in his dreams
- Agrees to help girlfriend throw a party for her sister who's trying to get into a sorority
- Girlfriend makes bud brownies, lines up liquor bottles in prep; not true 80's horror film party w/o the coke
- Sorority gal talks to sister, tells her guy she is dating 'Has a big heart but not much else'
- Asks her what she is cooking for Brad: 'BREAST of chicken? COCK Au Verre?' Def. a whore
- Another sorority gal asks 'Where's the phone?' girlfriend responds in negative, sorority gal responds 'Mondo bad planning, what if I had to call my broker?' Yup, def. an 80's horror film
- Demon girl crashes party, oh snap
- Here we go, someone busts out mirror & starts chopping up the nose candy
- Someone asks 'Where did Suzy go?' Another responds 'How should I know?'; no investigation ever takes place
- Party gets boring, charades is suggested, '3 words', woman strangles self, makes choking noises; drunken guy shouts 'Rambo'
- Brad gets w/ whore behind back of sister; comes in about 2.5 seconds, makes silly grunting noise
- Sister gets bummed about Brad hooking up, hits the bottle, says 'I never knew tequila tasted like this. I wonder what worms would taste like in diet soda?'
- Demon gal seduces one of the guys, he wears tighty whiteys; all horny, he strokes his own leg
- She ties him up w/ electric chord; makes him drink water and plugs chord into wall, frying him
- Never good at physics, is this possible?
- Sister gets sick from drinking too much, pukes all over whore and Brad as they lie in bed; whore calls her a 'fucking cunt'
- Other drunk dude and girl start getting frisky, bust out Reddi Whip
- Before penis plow, says needs another drink, dunks head into punch bowl; demon gal stabs him and spears girl w/ fireplace poker
- Whore says 'Birds of a feather flock together'; sister wakes up after passing out, finds out they are back together; starts hitting bottle again
- Find out demon gal is a succubus and made pact w/ metalhead
- Metalhead sold souls of party goers to write better lyrics and get more girls; he's wearing a Def Leppard shirt, he's fucked
- Demon gal plays tonsil hockey w/ dude, goes down stairs and bites off his wee-wee
- Whore runs into girlfriend as she's leaving the party, says 'Maybe I should say goodbye to your boyfriend and give him something better than you gave him'
- Metalhead takes razor to whore's neck before she can leave; bitch served
- Girlfriend and shit-faced sister (w/ bottle still in hand) band together, kill tighty whitey dude who's turned into a zombie w/ ski pole
- Sisters grab power drill and kill metalhead who comes after them w/ knife, drilling straight through neck, taking off head; gore well done
- Demon girl gets pissed and goes after sisters, they're screwed
- WTF? dude from mental hospital barges in, grabs demon girl, and says 'What are you doing out again?'; hellooooo random
- Next scene, script writer talking about film; all didn't really happen
- Knock on door, he opens and gets knifed; movie ends
- Clearly directors ran out of funds
As you can see, this film is all fucking class and brilliance. Goddamn I love 80's horror films. Do whatever you can to track down a copy of this movie.
Cortez The Killer
Until our first festival update post, check out their site for current information and trailers. The recently added film The Final as well as Lake Mungo, are my leading front-runners for best offerings of this year's installment. If you're too lazy to go to the site, check out the trailers below.
Cortez the Killer
T&A Factor: 5/5
Really, is there any synopsis required for a film that is pretty much self-explanatory? And shouldn't it ooze with unparalleled awesomeness just by the title itself, that by expounding upon its plot would be deemed wholly irrelevant? Yes and yes....if the film was actually good.
To begin things, a long drawn out shower scene occurs in which a big boob-ed girl lathers, washes and repeatedly massages and massages and massages her ta ta's, in preparation for her performance of what she hopes will be her master leg spreading work with a new and up-and-coming (get it?) adult film director. She doesn't get very far as she leaves the house and is strangled by a par of hands belonging to an unseen assailant just before she gets into her car.
A parade of the industry's 'best' show up at an out of the way wherehouse where they are informed by the director that they will be making a picture that will put to shame all orafice entering, cock gobbling, and midget sexing films. After a lot of in-fighting between the ladies as they argue about who's the better penis platform, they shoot their necessary scenes and die at the hands of a masked man who's roaming the set. You see, they are not there to actually film a porno but in fact, the director was offered a huge sum of money to make a horror movie. He wanted to make it as real as possible, figuring no one will miss a coked out porn star, recruiting a sadistic killer (who's mask looks like a dirty jock strap) and he let's him have his own way with the girls after they're done shooting.
The problem with the film is that the gimmick starts to wear and nothing else really holds it together. Obviously its not going to win any awards with its acting but films of this ilk usually have witty dialogue interspersed to keep it somewhat interesting. About 45 minutes in, I hit the display button on my DVD remote to see how much time was left. I mean, I love copious amounts of mammary glands just as much as the next guy. But the horror aspect is what really lacked. Many of the kills occurred off screen and by the time an interesting one took place (an S&M oriented gal is strung up by chains, a sledgehammer is taken to her mid section and the killer starts pulling out her intestines like he's uncoiling a spool of wire), I again was checking to see how much time was left.
I've seen worse but overall, I can only recommend this to the most diehard of fans. But really, there isn't anything in this we haven't seen before save for the main premise. And way hotter naked women can be had on the internets. Overall, a winning combination that should work but ultimately doesn't.
Cortez The Killer
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Every now and then, a horror film completely comes out of left field and punches me in the face with a fistful of awesome. I like to gamble every now and then with my Verizon Fios On Demand horror movie selections, only watching the trailer and not relying on any reviews beforehand to sway my purchasing decision. Nine times out of ten I get screwed but every now and then, I find a true gem. Like yesterday's entry, Summer School is an incredible little indie horror film, simple in set-up and execution. By film's end, you are left asking yourself 'Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?'
Meet Charlie. He's a horror film fanatic and blogger. Instead of enjoying his time off during summer vacation, he's self-imposedly put himself in school, trying to get ahead of his studies so that senior year is a breeze. Along with his burn out buddies (who are there by court order due to some recent vandalizing activities), a girl he has an eye for, the teacher, and an officer which is patrolling the halls making sure the vandals stay put, a horror movie version of Groundhog's Day unfolds.
Charlie doesn't let his love of horror films and reviewing them get in the way of his school studies. So something has to give and he instead sacrifices his sleep. During class, he passes out and wakes up to find himself in various horror movie-like scenarios: he's targeted as a sacrifice by a satanic cult, strange creatures roam the halls and come after him, a nazi soldier along with his machine gun toting sidekick mow down the school and promptly target him, vampires try to get a meal from his neck, and hillbillies chase him after he tries to escape the confines of the school. In each scenario, he unsuccessfully fends off his attackers and his life ends in grisly fashions. Afterwards, he wakes up at his desk and then proceeds to the next. After going through the aforementioned situations, the conclusion finds him facing his last and just when he thinks that he's escaped, comes an ending that neither he nor you (the viewer) expects.
Such a simple and effective film, I was so incredibly awed after watching it and I felt ashamed that I hadn't heard about it before. The film was shot in such a way that gave it a B-movie and drive-in cinema feel but overall, it has a soul and spirit thats totally unique. And look at that movie poster. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I think that horror movie poster art is a lost form. But whoever designed this definitely nailed it.
The trailer does not do the film justice nor can you totally tell what the film is about. I think it was intentionally cut that way because to reveal any of the particulars around Charlie's adventures, would spoil the surprise of the film. And surprise me it did. I promptly emailed the production company behind this and got in touch with one of the directors. I hope to interview them soon. Yes, I was THAT impressed by this film. See this indie horror adventure, ASAP. And spread the word to friends and fellow bloggers alike!
More info about the film can be found here: Random CreatureFace Films
Cortez the Killer
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Creepiness 1/5 --- 5/5 for the same
Aside from my love of slasher films that are of the mucho sleazy persuasion, next in line for me are indie horror productions. I'm pretty sure that most of us would say that the underground is where its at (despite some great offerings from the mainstream this year). Gimme a little film that could with cheap production and effects but with a script that has a heart and is well-intentioned and you've got my heart beat a flutter. Enter Clownstrophobia. Despite its flaws (which in my humble opinion makes indie horror films that much more charming), at its heart is a fun tale which translates into a fairly enjoyable film.
The movie starts off with a new attending nurse in a mental hospital getting the lowdown about a new inhabitant known only as 'Patient X'. Apparently the woman was picked up at a carnival while wearing attire that signaled ' Hey, I'm crazy', and she also happened to mentionthat her family actually worked for the carnival (as clowns of course). Trouble is, no one who worked there knew who she was. And she incessantly blathered on about her baby being taken from her. As the attendee starts to get to know her, she finds that she is indeed crazy but through her charms and wiles, proves to be right about having a child who was wrongfully taken from her.
Aside from the dealings with Patient X, a male psychiatrist who works for the institution is helping another psychiatrist who is deathly afraid of clowns. Its learned that she was tormented by her brother as a child and he took on the persona of a crazed clown after many a childhood taunts and teases. She explains that one day, she walked out into the hallway of the home after mom and dad were heard screaming and she found her brother was stabbing them to death. Guess who later escapes the confines of the asylum during a night of nurses partying hard and while partaking in some bump and grind action?
The psychiatrist and doctor band together to help a group of teenage troublemakers that are serving time in juvy who are also deathly afraid of....wait for it....wait for it.....Bozos and Pennywises. They take temporary residence in the home as they both get them to confront their fears. Little do they know that the home becomes the site of brother clown killers revenge! As the bro comes home to roost, he uses it as his personal playground, torturing, maiming and slicing and dicing the kids to his delight. Towards the end, only one survives and you are left with the questions of: Does he take up the killers mantle of crazy? And is he in fact related to one of the film's central characters?
Part slasher, part torture porn, Clownstrophobia is a gorrific delight. If you are insanely afraid of clowns, you might be best served to avoid this. As mentioned, there are some flaws that abound. The soundtrack sometimes drowns out the dialogue which actually may not be so bad considering that that was my second gripe. But overall, its got heart and its original. And that to me is what makes a good indie horror film.
No trailer for this. Instead, check out an interesting interview with director Geraldine Winters in which she discusses the trials and tribulations of film making.
Cortez the Killer
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
- Complaint Dept.
Anyone who's a regular follower of this blog knows of my unabashed love of slasher films. The more alcohol, drug, and sex induced awesomeness, the better. Throw in some insanely (un)intentionally funny dialogue, a main antagonist, and a final girl for good measure, and usually, you had me at hello. Of course, there has to be some sort of a thinly veiled plot to kind of hold everything together but usually, its those staples which keep me coming back for more. Like zombie films, it seems like the well is running dry on this sub-genre and filmmakers are circling around for another beat down of a dead horse. Enter The Hills Run Red with its sincere effort to make a 'smart' slasher pic.
The story kicks off with a horror film fanatic as he attempts to track down the whereabouts of a copy of an infamous film. Apparently the director premiered his film years back and it was promptly shut down during the screening as it was thought to be too disturbing for mass consumption. The director then went into seclusion and as it stands, no known copy of the film exists.
Our persistently pugnacious fanatic, tracks down one of the stars of the film, a woman (who at the time was a wee little lass) that works at the local boobie bar. As he sits through her lap grinding performance, he asks her about it. We find out that the director was in fact her dear ol' dad and she hasn't seen him in years.
He follows her home and convinces her to follow him on a trek out to the woodland area where the film was originally shot instead of going to her day job which in turn pays for her nasty heroin addiction. They both set out along with his girlfriend and best friend (who both bumped nasty bits in the scene before, what classy ladies!), embarking on a mission to find the lost film and maybe, run into daddy in the process.
What the film attempts to do at this point is basically eschew all of the trappings that are a hallmark of typical horror fare: they know that cellphones actually work where they are headed, they pack a gun and deem themselves fit to take on whatever comes their way, and they remark that the woods are usually a perfect setting for horror film shenanigans, but for them, it won't be (insert everyone laughing their asses off after this astute observation). Their conscious acknowledgement of these things and coming 'prepared' for the situation is supposed to negate the fact that 1. They are being lead into the forest by a trackmark riddled stripper 2. Daddy has been in hiding for years and his only obssession in life has never truly seen the light of day and 3. The main 'star' of the film was a mysterious babyfaced masked man whose whereabouts are also unknown. Sign me up for that trip!
When they arrive, they quickly get settled in after laying claim to a space fit for camping. Its not long before the gang is stalked by the cherub faced killer. In the process of evading their attacker, they happen to run into daddy-o. Apparently his vision was never fully realized for the film and the kids are now a part of the current in-process, re-shoot of the film's ending. And guess who led the kids squarely into the thick of it? Dun dun dun. That's right, your neighborhood funded and always saintly, heroin addicted stripper!
I can appreciate what the writer and director were trying to do. But in its attempt to be a 'smart' slasher film, it turned out to be completely nonsensical. Why set things up the way it did just to execute on the likeliest of in-story, sub-villains? With not a single red herring in sight, the film was pretty much transparent from the word go. Ultimately, the film bored me to tears and did nothing to make me change my belief that the slasher sub-genre should have died in the 80's.
Cortez the Killer
Saturday, November 14, 2009
From time to time I stop and ask myself, "Have I watched too many horror films? Have I seen it all, is there nothing left to scare me, to freak me out, to disturb me? And if so, what hope is there of entertaining me, much less scaring me, for any film made in 1961?" If you add to that the fact that "period pieces" generally nauseate me (I'm talking to you every-film-adaption-of-Jane-Austin-or-EM-Forester) with their ornate and flowery costumes and language, their slow and sleepy pace - well, things were looking gloomy for 1961's The Innocents. Luckily, I am generally wrong about most things (not really) and my expectations around this were quickly dashed.
Based on Henry James' short novella "The Turn of The Screw" (as is the only good movie Nicole Kidman has ever been in - The Others), The Innocents centers around a young woman who has taken a job as a nanny for two creepy little kids. The children's uncle is not only detached from their care, but intentionally and, in plain spoken language, totally uninterested in them which is why he hires the nanny. The children live in an enormous Victorian mansion out in the English countryside complete with all the comforts the high class of the late 19th century would enjoy: private lakes and ponds stocked with swans and geese, endless gardens and Greco-Roman statues. But, the Master away and never to return, the mansion has fallen into disrepair leaving a creepy, shadowy and cavernous shell of what it once was - a perfect set piece for a classic ghost story.
The nanny soon learns that the cheery little kids she has been employed to care for can be quite a handful. The little girl is prone to drifting off into spaced out trances where she mechanically hums the same tune over and over while the little boy oscillates between sweet and charming and spooky and slightly masochistic. Eventually the nanny comes to discover that the mansion holds some secrets that most would rather keep hidden away and that some of these secrets are taking the shape of ghosts.
There are some scenes here that are remarkably creepy - the figure of a gaunt and emaciated ghost-woman in black standing perfectly still amongst the reeds from a distance (picture the cover of the first Black Sabbath LP), the wispy figure of a woman slowly moving down a hall or the sweaty and menacing face of a man slowly appearing in the window behind the nanny. And the story is well written and, despite it's slow 1961 pace and high-brow, literate style, maintains it's grip on the viewer until the end. There is a scene where the little girl goes into an extended fit of mania and screams repeatedly for minutes on end. The way it's dragged out is remarkably effective and creepy.
- Complaint Dept
Friday, November 13, 2009
What's up jive* turkeys? You slim slammin' slang a langa ding dongs ready for this one? Its a spin on the demonic possession tip with some southern fried hospitality. You dig*?
A minister and teacher attends a farewell picnic thrown by his students, farewell because he's leaving for Nigeria and he has expertise in the area of ancient African civilizations and farewell because he may not make it back alive. He gets hip to the tip* from the Nigerian government, claiming that they've uncovered an ancient tomb of a demon god of sexuality. After his farewell tour, he flies out, enters the tomb and unwittingly let's out the spirit of the demon.
Naturally, the demon makes it back into town where it takes up residence inside his daughter-in-law who's a marriage counselor at the church. She starts going all ziggerboo* and her husband has a hard time figuring out what's going on (nevermind the deep man voice, the random fuck me fuck me's the bitch starts blathering, AND the fact that the entire family is involved with the church). In fact, it takes about 45 minutes in or so before demonic possession is even uttered.
What we get with the demonic inhabitation is a woman who's extremely sexual and wants to jump the bones of everyone but her husband. In fact, the husband enters the bedroom one night, feeling frisky and quoting a King Solomon verse from the Bible (that's a sure fire way to get a fine dinner* wet in the panties!) and the demonic spirited version of his wife comes out, gives him a big ol' 'fuck you mutha fucka' and kicks him squarely in the man parts. Demonically possessed indeed!
If that wasn't enough, she escapes the confines of the house (he's trying to keep her at home until his pops gets back from Africa) and patrons local nightclubs, getting absolutely shit plowed and bumping nasty bits with any dude in the bar thats willing. Dad finally gets home and meets up with his son and another family member, scour the city, and find her at an area frolic pad* where they perform a ritualistic exorcism.
Starring Blacula himself as the father/minister/teacher, Abby should have been called The Blaxoricst. Shiiiiiit, if you are going to be the real killer-diller* at least go all the way. You feel me? Highly recommended.
*Words/phrases marked with an asterisk come courtesy of the Cab Calloway Jive Dictionary.
Cortez the Killer
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
A woman who's recently been diagnosed that she's cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, undergoes psychiatric treatment with a doctor that applies a form of experimental therapy. Her husband believes that this is the only solution in repairing their marriage and believes the therapy will help rid her of her lifelong deeply rooted anger and anxiety. But all efforts go undone when we learn that all of her energies are manifesting themselves into something entirely vicious and pint-sized.
The experimental form of psychiatry involves a whacked out doctor who impersonates individuals in that person's life whom they have deep seeded issues and problems with. This is done as means to get them to confront their issues head-on. When her young daughter makes a visit and returns home with bruises on her arm, the father stops the daughter from seeing her mother and that's when the fun begins.
Just when it appears that mommy has everything under control, family and friends start getting killed....by people, 1/8th their size. Her mother-in-law, which seems to be a sharp focus of her anger and frustration, gets waxed first. As the little girl is being cared for, a deformed little guy in a hoodie comes flying through her kitchen window and takes a meat tenderizer to her noggin'. The little girl escapes unharmed and for a brief instant, the father thinks that maybe, just maybe, the little tyke had something to do with it.
As the film progresses, the body count rises with one of the final kills coming to the school teacher of the little girl who is also banging headboards with dear ol' daddy. By now, there is a duo of pint-sized terrors, and they proceed to beat and murder the teacher right in front of the kids. An absolutely brutal scene, with all kids looking on as her head is bashed in and a chorus of screams ring out.
The grand finale sees the father meeting up at the retreat of the psychiatrist and he learns what it is that is actually allowing for her catharsis. You see, all of her anger and rage is literally going into the birth of her 'brood', a minion of midgets, hellbent on seeking revenge against those that have wronged her.
At times slow moving, the film is however original, brutal and just plain icky. The scene where the mother gives the 'grand revelation' and one final birth, then licks her new born, really got to me.
Cortez the Killer
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Cortez The Killer